Can I heat water with an air source heat pump?

Air source heat pumps are becoming popular in the UK, mainly because of the lucrative Renewable Heat Incentive, which will earn you thousands of pounds in a very short period of time.

Typically, heat pumps are used to help with your home’s heating, which covers 60% of the annual fuel bill, but the question is, can they be used for hot water as well?

If you want the quick answer, it’s yes. So you can go away now knowing the truth, but if you want a little more info, stick around and we’ll provide it to you.

Ok, so it’s all well and good saying you can benefit from hot water with an air source pump, but should you use it in such a way? If you’re keen on renewables, solar thermal panels will be much more efficient at providing your hot water. However, in the winter when there are fewer daylight hours, heat pumps can do the trick.

How about the temperature? Will this be up to the heat we need? Well, if you think about it, the water won’t need to be particularly hot. We shower and bath in water between 38 and 42 degrees and heat pumps won’t have a problem supplying this.

So what’s the downside?

As with everything, there is a downfall that you need to note if thinking about hot water for your heat pumps. In this case, the problem is that water won’t be heated above 60 degrees when it’s stored and ready for your use.

What’s the problem we hear you ask. As already discussed, the water won’t need to be 60 degrees for our baths and showers.

This is all well and good, but there’s also the factor of a bacteria known as Legionella. This bacteria breeds in warm water and can be a fatal illness if inhaled. That’s why it’s crucial to kill the bacteria off by heating water above 60 degrees before it’s stored.

What does this mean for your vision of heating water with the pump? Nothing changes and you can still do this. However, installers will arrange for the water to be heated above 60 degrees once a day, with an immersion timer.
Of course, your heat pump can do the first 45 degrees, with the immersion heater providing the rest.

By doing this, you’ll have a safe system that’s killing any bacteria that could breed.

Now the safety precaution is out of the way, next we’d advise having specific controls for your heat pump. That means when the heat pump has done its job of killing off the Legionella, you’ll have full control. Lower temperature heating is more efficient, so always bear this in mind.


Facts & Figures You’ll Love To Share

  • With an air source heat pump you can save hundreds of pounds every year on your heating bill.
  • Take advantage of the Government’s lucrative Renewable Heat Incentive linked with heat pumps, which pays out for seven years.
  • Heat pumps are easy to install and will provide major cash savings for over two decades.
  • Energy bills have doubled since 2004, so avoid further increase by installing your own home heat pump.

Tom Crosswell

I have been managing online projects since 1999 and I'm a experienced marketeer, who is well versed in international brand management, online business strategy and developing long term relationships. Through my academic and professional background I am a specialist in generating online loyalty towards brands. My experience has taught me that ultimately business is about relationships and people. For more information see my Google+ page.

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